Notable Achievements of George Hale
Hale invented a device to view solar prominences in daylight while still at MIT. Called a spectroheliograph, it moved two slits across the solar image to develop a spectrograph of the makeup of the prominences.
In conjunction with the spectroheliograph, he developed a coelostat—a new type of telescope in which the mirror moved to follow the sun. The coelostat was positioned horizontally, not vertically.
With these instruments, Hale also discovered the magnetic fields of sunspots, and the phenomenon of the reversal of magnetic polarity among sunspot pairs over a 22 year cycle, now called the Hale Effect. The instruments remain in use today in solar astronomy.
In 1919, Hale, then Director at Mt. Wilson, came across the work of a young astronomer and was highly impressed. He offered the young man a staff position. It was a move as shrewd as any Hale ever made. With the 100-inch, Edwin Hubble would change the face of Astronomy forever, and the 200-inch, when finally completed after WWII, was named the Hale telescope.
• The 1894 Janssen Medal from the Paris Academy of Sciences.
• The 1902 Benjamin Count Rumford Medal from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
• The 1904 Henry Draper Medal from the National Academy of Sciences
• The 1904 Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society
• The 1916 Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
• In 1919 he was elected an associate of Academie des Sciences, Institut de France
• The 1920 Galileo Medal from the University of Florence
• The 1921 Actonian Prize from Royal Institution of London
• The 1926 Elliott Cresson Medal in Physics from the The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia
• The 1926 Arthur Noble Medal from the City of Pasadena.
• The 1927 Franklin Gold Medal from The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia.
• The 1932 Sir Godfrey Copley Medal from the Royal Society of Great Britain.
• The 1935 Frederic Ives Medal from the Optical Society of America